Peter Moore used to lead the line at Microsoft’s games division; before that he worked at Sega and helped launch the Dreamcast. Why the walk through Moore’s resume? Because he moved to EA last year and FaceBreaker is the first sign of where he feels the publisher’s been going wrong.
FaceBreaker aims to take the core gameplay of Fight Night Round 3 and push it through a cartoon filter, injecting arcade nonsense into the genre not seen since Sega’s Ready to Rumble series (which helped launch the Dreamcast - that Moore connection surfaces). Like Nintendo’s classic Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out, FaceBreaker is over-the-top boxing fun. The characters are the stars; big meaty powerhouses trade blows with lightweight but zippy flair fighters. The two boxers named so far are Romeo, a Latin fighter whose moves all stem from his passion for the ladies, and Molotov, a Russian boxer who bears an uncanny resemblance to King Hippo from Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out and packs a mean power punch. Every fighter, we’re told, will feel unique and all will feature their own special moves, attributes and styles - and of course, landing a slew of combos will power up your super gauge and enable you to launch a signature super punch.
Okay, so the gameplay is not entirely new. But we haven’t had an out-and-out arcade slugger in years, and FaceBreaker looks great. EA being EA, there is some new technology on offer here, most notably you’ll be able to scan your face in Burnout Paradise-style using a USB camera and stick it onto a custom-made boxer - ideal for online bouts. The calculations going on behind the scenes will also begin to deform your face as it’s hit; bruising, gashes and black eyes will appear as your online alter ego gets a thrashing.
Our favourite inclusion is the taunt. Again, it’s been done before, but FaceBreaker will let cocky players take to the ring with one hand tied behind their back. There will be nothing more infuriating than being beaten by a squeaky kid from Kansas who’s just smacked up your face, with one hand. Revenge will be mighty sweet. Bring it on suckers!
The game’s website is promising to reveal a lot more about the game in the coming months. Log in and you could change the direction of the game, perhaps even help create a standout fighter…
Mar 28, 2008